The most photographed sign in all of Austria’s ski areas must be this one, at Mayrhofen [winter.mayrhofner-bergbahnen.com]. It’s the entrance to Harakiri, the steepest groomed ski run in Austria at 78% grade (that’s 38 degrees!). Besides having this super steep slope, Mayrhofen has a lot of great things to offer: excellent nightlife, varied slopes, connected resorts, and good train connections. The 159km of slopes have a meager 45km for beginners, a whopping 94km for intermediates, and a respectable 20km for experts. Prices run €39.50 for a daily ticket and €166 for a 5-day pass.
You can also find places to do tandem paragliding in Mayrhofen. Just be careful on the slopes, you don’t want to be airlifted out. There’s too much fun to be had on the wide, open slopes and big-air funparks!
Getting to Mayrhofen
If you arrive by plane, you have a drive of 160km from Munich, 70km from Innsbruck, or 180km from Salzburg. There is also a good train connection to Mayrhofen. If you come by car, Mayrhofen can be a good choice if the weather is snowy – you won’t have to drive up the steep road that goes to Hintertux. But, if there isn’t enough snow on the slopes, the glacier at Hintertux is only a half hour drive away. Your ticket should be good at both resorts, just check with a ticket agent to be sure.
Tips for Mayrhofen
Where to start? You can do a ski tour going between the linked resorts, including Finkenburg and Eggalm. The 150er-Tux is a big cable car that holds 150 people at once, which is quite an experience. The top of Horbergjoch chairlift is 2500m; the snow stays more powdery and soft at that high altitude. Just be careful not to get lost 😉
Try out a Tiroler Grostl for lunch: that’s fried potatoes and strips of ham or bacon, with a fried egg on top. It’s a favorite in the Austrian Alps, and very filling as you can imagine.
One of Mayrhofen’s strengths is the nightlife scene. There are several discos, bars, and rock clubs. There’s one basement disco near this bridge over the river:
And just a bit farther down Ahornstr, this was the scene at one rock-oriented Apres Ski party,
So when your day on the pistes winds down, head into town. Take a break from Austrian food at the China-Restaurant Singapore [Scheulingstraße 371]. Check out the (smoky) Scotland Yard pub [Scheulingstraße 372], mix with some young locals, and play a game of darts. Enjoy your stay, and make sure to save enough energy for a run down the super-steep Harakiri!